Our group’s annual picnic was at a local state park one year and a couple of the young girls had been riding their bikes along the trails for a good part of the day. They invited me to come along. Having heard how challenging the trails could be, I wasn’t easily convinced.
But I went. They promised they’d watch out for me.
Taking the lead, the two youngsters were true to their word. As we biked our way up and down the hills, I’d hear them call out, “Bump!” “Curve coming up!” “Watch out for the loose sand!” Because they’d been down the trail so many times before, they were familiar with each hazard.
God gives us the gift of Christian friends to play the same role those girls played for me that day. Together, in faith, we can travel the road. But we need people who can help us when we encounter the bumps and curves.
I remember on that day at the park, the first thing those girls did was convince me with a promise to take care of me the best they could. Friends who help in our faith walk do the same. They pray for us, point us to God’s truth, rejoice with us when things go well and mourn with us during tough times.
In addition, we’ll meet people who have experiences and knowledge we don’t have who can warn us of possible hazards we wouldn’t see.
At one point during our trek that day, the girls decided we’d stop and rest. “It’s just a little further to the end,” they told me. It was a call to persevere. The ride was almost over. Likewise, as Christ followers, we’re encouraged to remain confident. We’ll be rewarded if we persevere and do the will of God. We’ll receive what God has promised.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (Hebrews 10: 35,36)
By the end of my trip on the trails, I was tired. But when the girls asked me if I wanted to go again, I said, “Yes.” I had faith in the beginning that they would help me along the paths, and now I was more familiar with the way.
What was true that day at the park is true of sharing a spiritual journey with other disciples. If not for their encouragement, I might never go in the first place. If not for their help, I might fall many times on the way.